A Lila Review: Ghosts (The Power of Zero, #2) by Jackie Keswick

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5       ★★★★★

GhostsThree months after the ending of book #1, we are back at Gareth’s house days before Christmas. Nancarrow Mining is out for the holidays, and the MCs are getting ready for the festivities. Jack and Gareth enjoyed some quiet time before family and friends filled the house.

As the days passed, we experienced the challenges of making a relationship work. They celebrated Boxing Day, New Years, and Valentine’s by the end of the story. All these celebrations framed the evolution of the relationships, not only between the MC but the rest of the characters as well.

Together, they worked to have all their ghosts put to rest.

Ghosts is a novella that zooms into the lives of Daniel and Nico and how it affects Jack and Gareth. This installment is more of an extension than a story on its own, especially after reading Job Hunt’s epilogue. We get to see and hear from most of the characters, again. Plus, we found out about Goran’s trial and sentencing.

 But the majority of the book revolves around Jack and the boys trying to deal with their “Ghosts” and how to move forward with their lives. It’s a limited view into building a family for the four of them and all the obstacles they had to tackle to get there. There’s no extra drama or cases, just a small side plot about finding Daniel’s parents and its repercussions.

The author summarized it well in this quote, “Love is something enduring that lets you deal with your past, live in the present, and look towards a future.”

I do need to say that the first chapter in this story made me crave a good beef pie and mash potatoes. The recipes and meals were important before, but now, they have center stage. Everything from the preparation to the consumption had a purpose and translated well into writing. The author continues to have a great way to integrate all the senses in her prose.

The reader has the opportunity to peek into the characters’ future and dig further into their pasts. If you want to know more about Daniel and Nico, this is the perfect addition for it. But I don’t think is necessary to read it before moving to the next book in the series.

I didn’t like the cover for book #1, Job Hunt, but Maria Fanning did an excellent job with the cover for this novella. It fits the previous book, and it has an important element of this installment.

Sale Links: Dreamspinner | Amazon | ARe

Book Details:

ebook, 112 pages
Published: February 10, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 1634768590 (ISBN13: 9781634768597)
Edition Language: English

Series:  The Power of Zero
Book #1: Job Hunt
Book #2: Ghosts
Book #3: House Hunt

A MelanieM Review: Trial by Fire by BA Tortuga

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Trial By FireOne Aussie. One Texan. One baby. One hell of a fight.

When his sister and her husband are killed in an accident, Aussie cattle station owner Lachlan McCoughney rushes to Texas to rescue their infant daughter, Chloe. He expects to find his niece living in squalor with the Sheffields, a rodeo family.

Instead, Lachlan finds Holden Sheffield, a salt-of-the-earth cowboy running a huge business operation. They want to explore their mutual attraction despite the many problems thrown their way, and together, they must find a way to give Chloe a new family and find a love that spans thousands of acres and two continents.

Once again, BA Tortuga has nailed it with this emotional, funny, heartbreaking romance featuring an itty bitty Texas cowboy and a Aussie cattle station owner. No one, I repeat, no one, does that tiny powerful cowboy like Tortuga.  They exist in rodeos across the nation and in ranches throughout the United States.  Tough as rawhide, tiny as they come and packing a punch that will level you.

And this author gets them at a cellular level.

That’s Holden Sheffield, whose just lost his beloved twin brother, Landon, and wife, Addie, who Holden adored, in a plane crash, leaving him the sole guardian, of their daughter.  Holden, and his entire family are devastated, in pain and in shock, when the Aussie appears demanding to see his niece and more.  You can imagine how that would play out.  But to the author’s credit, she doesn’t go to the places we would expect but takes those scenes to unexpected avenues of calmness and evenhandedness first.  I loved that.  Holden was a perfect explosion of unanticipated character traits…yet the whole of him made perfect sense.  Loved that man!

Lachlan McCoughney is more of a well defined brand, but that works here too.  In fact that may be needed for the drama within the story.  His is the yin to Holden’s yang, the two types of men, the two types of stations/ranch operations and yet on the outside so dissimilar,on the inside, so very much alike where it counts.  If only Lachlan will be brave enough to see and act on it.  I loved and understood Lachlan too because the basis for his actions is also love of family and land.  Something that BA Tortuga also understands deeply and is able to easily  translate into her stories.

Backing up the main characters for their fight for the child are the parents and ranch hands, all of whom are beautifully defined and realistic in their own right.  This book could extend into multiple stories in a heartbeat with all the characters involved.

Grab this story right up and hold on tight.  You will read through it quickly and then want to go through it again to see what you missed.  Its sexy, heartwarming, and one for the comfort chair.  I highly recommend it.

Cover art by Paul Richmond.  So cute, ok baby, adorable.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 228 pages
Expected publication: March 15th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781634769822
Edition Language English

 

 

Special Guest Blog:BA Tortuga on Telling Our Stories and her release ‘Trial by Fire’ , a Dreamspun Desire

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Trial By Fire

Trial by Fire by B.A. Tortuga
D
reamspinner Press
Release Date March 15

Cover art by Paul Richmond

Sales Links

Dreamspinner Press ebook & paperback | Amazon Print | ARe | Barnes and Noble

 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have BA Tortuga here today to share something about herself and the characters in her latest story (which I loved), Trial by Fire.  Welcome, BA.

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Telling Our Stories

Hey, y’all! I’m BA Tortuga, resident redneck and lover of stories – hearing and telling.

Whenever people ask me why I write cowboys, I tell them those are the people I grew up with, those are the people I know. I write the folks that I heard telling their stories, the people that I shared memories with. Not all of the stories are good ones, not all of them are classy – shit, not many of them are – but they’re ours and I’m proud to share their voices.

Now, if you want polished men that never lose their tempers or get themselves in trouble with their big mouths, these aren’t the cowboys for you. Shit, I couldn’t even manage to write a billionaire rancher from Australia who owns his own private jet to be this super class-act. Somehow, when you scratch Lachlan, underneath the fancy-assed business suit you find a red-blooded, hot-headed man that intends to get what he wants.

Grins

Here, I’ll let y’all meet him a little bit.

“I—shit, mate, I hate being the bastard to bring bad news.”

His scalp prickled, and goose pimples rose on his arms. “Just tell me.”

“Ades was in a plane accident three weeks ago over in the States. She and her husband.”

Jesus. He felt as if Rick had hit him with a hammer, right in the belly. How could that be possible? His baby sister, gone off this earth?

“I’m sorry as hell, mate. I saw a little blip on the AP feed. All that searching and I missed it until today.”

“You have the details now?” He didn’t want to know, but he had to. His mum… she deserved to know.

“I do. Lachy. There’s lots.”

He rubbed his eyes with his free hand. “How much? You said she was married.” He’d not have guessed.

“Yes. A bull rider from Texas. They… they got married two and a half years ago. They had…. Oh shit, mate. There’s a little one. A little sheila. Three and a half months old.”

His heart stopped for a moment. Really stopped. “She wasn’t on the plane.”

“No. No, she was with her father’s family.”

“Thank God.” His hands shook, his whole body going shocky. “What. Where is she now?”

“Living with the Sheffields. That’s the family.”

“Wait. She married Landon Sheffield?” Sheffield was a tiny little bastard. What the hell had Addie seen in him? That motherfucker had been a guest in his house. Snake in the ruddy grass.

“Yeah. You know him?”

“Yank bull rider. He was over here for some big tour. They did a promotional shoot up here.” He was going to lose his shit.

“There’s a twin brother. Uh….” He heard papers shuffling. “Holden. He’s named on the will as the guardian.”

“Not the grandparents?”

“No, mate.”

“Damn it.” Okay, that wasn’t going to work. He’d never met the brother, but the Sheffields were rodeo people. A little girl needed a stable home. Not some nomadic bullshit life where nothing stayed the same for a week at a time. She needed a home. Her mom was gone, and he hadn’t even known.

“How do I find them?” Lachlan asked.

Let me tell, y’all. When Lachlan gets his happy ass to Texas, sparks fly.

There’s a reason the working title of this story was “Aussie vs Texan.”

Much love, y’all.

BA

Trial by Fire Blurb

One Aussie. One Texan. One baby. One hell of a fight.

When his sister and her husband are killed in an accident, Aussie cattle station owner Lachlan McCoughney rushes to Texas to rescue their infant daughter, Chloe. He expects to find his niece living in squalor with the Sheffields, a rodeo family.

Instead, Lachlan finds Holden Sheffield, a salt-of-the-earth cowboy running a huge business operation. They want to explore their mutual attraction despite the many problems thrown their way, and together, they must find a way to give Chloe a new family and find a love that spans thousands of acres and two continents.

About BA Tortuga

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head. Find her on the web at http://www.batortuga.com

Its Love and War with ‘Between Ghosts’ by Garrett Leigh (Giveaway)

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Between Ghosts by Garrett Leigh
R
iptide Publishing
Cover art by Garrett Leigh

Read an excerpt/buy it here

About Between Ghosts

In 2003, journalist Connor Regan marched through London to add his voice to a million others, decrying the imminent invasion of Iraq. Eight months later, his brother, James, was killed in action in Mosul.

Three years on, Connor finds himself bound for Iraq to embed with an elite SAS team. He sets his boots on the ground looking for closure and solace—anything to ease the pain of his brother’s death. Instead he finds Sergeant Nathan Thompson.

Nat Thompson is a veteran commander, hardened by years of combat and haunted by the loss of his best friend. Being lumbered with a civilian is a hassle Nat doesn’t need, and he vows to do nothing more than keep the hapless hack from harm’s way.

But Connor proves far from hapless, and too compelling to ignore for long. He walks straight through the steel wall Nat’s built around his heart, and when their mission puts him in mortal danger, Nat must lay old ghosts to rest and fight to the death for the only man he’s ever truly loved.

About Garret Leigh

Garrett Leigh is a British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Black Jazz Press. Her protagonists will always always be tortured, crippled, broken, and deeply flawed. Throw in a tale of enduring true love, some stubbly facial hair, and a bunch of tattoos, and you’ve got yourself a Garrett special.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible. That, and dreaming up new ways to torture her characters. Garrett believes in happy endings; she just likes to make her boys work for it.

Garrett also works as a freelance cover artist for various publishing houses and independent authors under the pseudonym G.D. Leigh. For cover art info, please visit blackjazzpress.com.

Social media:

http://garrettleigh.com
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Garrett_Leigh
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garrettleighbooks
Cover art enquiries: blackjazzdesign@gmail.com – See more at: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/authors/garrett-leigh#sthash.t8NCJ3A0.dpuf

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Giveaway

Leave a comment for a chance to win $20 in Riptide credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 19, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Its Release Day for the Riverdance Anthology (excerpts and giveaway)

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Riverdance Anthology
Authors: L. J. Hamlin, Asta Idonea, Dale Cameron Lowry, Morwen Navarre, Lynn Townsend.
Cover Artist: Kris Norris
Publisher: Torquere Press
Release Date: March 15, 2016

Book/Buy Links: Torquere

Synopsis

Riverdance is a compilation of all things Irish. From fae flitting hither and thither trying to trick their quarry, to a modern-day Highland games, complete with caber tossing and traditional dance, our romantic compilation of Celtic tales and lore are sure to remind readers that love is the pot-o-gold at the end of the rainbow.

Morwen Navarre brings us The Sidhe’s Apprentice, a tale of a young man desperately wanting to be a wizard, like his grandfather, who never banked on falling in love with his mentor. In Finding Balance, Lynn Townsend sets readers in the middle of the Highland games, as well as between two former lovers who need to forgive and forget. L. J. Hamline’s tale, Luck of the Irish, tells of some lucky days that turn into lucky nights. Born of Fire, Dale Cameron Lowry’s offering, brings readers the abduction of a human by fairies, and the greatest lesson of all: love is more than superficial. Finally, Asta Idonea’s The First Swallow of Spring chronicles an annual pilgrimage to the land of the fae, and how the wiley lord tries to keep a human for his own.

Heat Level: 5
Pairing: M/M, F/F
Length: 32,900 words
Categories: BDSM, Contemporary, Erotica, Fantasy, Humor, M/M Romance, Paranormal

Excerpt

From Morwen Navarre’s The Sidhe’s Apprentice:

There was nothing for it but to follow the path which Master Lorc·n had indicated. Master Lorc·n’s parting words had not been comforting, and Alistair had a feeling this Master Cian·n would be no warmer.

Alistair took the opportunity to look around as he walked, wondering how much magic was required to maintain this place. The transition was completely seamless, as though the door to the embassy had been a gate to another realm. None of the whispers had even hinted at the existence of such a portal, though, and Alistair was not too sure he would want to ask. The illusion was flawless, the sky a pearly glow above the tall treetops. The light was softer than sunlight, but far brighter than moonlight, and he wondered if it was designed to duplicate the sun of the Sidhe realm. He could hear faint birdsong, and there was a gentle breeze that brought the scent of honeysuckle with it. If this was Sidhe magic, he wanted to learn all he could.

The stream was not very wide, where Alistair approached it. A single stride would take him over it, but he had been told to wait, and not to cross it. Obedience was mandatory for a student of the Sidhe. That much was common knowledge. There was no place to sit, so Alistair stood and waited. He let his thoughts drift, trying to imagine what it would be like to live in this tranquil place for a year and a day.

“Are you contemplating running away? I wouldn’t recommend it.”

The speaker was Sidhe, and there was a definite lilt to his English. Alistair felt his cheeks grow warm, and he bowed hastily as he straightened up. He swallowed as he got a good look at the speaker on the other side of the stream.

Author Bio
Publisher of GLBT fiction books:  http://www.torquerepress.com to offer the finest in erotic LGBT romance available.
Author Links:
Torquere Facebook Page | Torquere on Twitter |Torquere Blog
Torquere on Pinterest | Torquere Website

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Giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize: eBook copy of the Riverdance Anthology. Must be 18 years or older to enter.

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